DEAR ABBY: Our father died nine months after his diagnosis with cancer. Within six months of his funeral, our stepmother of 20-plus years had begun a new relationship. She sold her and Dad's home and belongings and moved across the country, leaving behind her children, stepchildren and grandchildren.
Although she promised to keep in touch with everyone, she hasn't. She has made no effort to reach out to her stepfamily over the last year and a half, not even her grandchildren. We are perplexed, as she claimed our father was the love of her life and she dearly loved her grandchildren.
A few of us tried contacting her during the first six months after she left, but she usually responded only to texts, and then with one-word answers. We realize she has moved on, but how could she cut all ties with those she supposedly cared for? What are we missing? What is it that we don't understand about being 60-something and widowed?
We feel abandoned and betrayed. We supported her in her decisions and her remarriage (which is the last time we had any contact with her). Please advise, Abby. -- BAFFLED OUT WEST
DEAR BAFFLED: Since you haven't had any meaningful contact with her since her remarriage, I suspect that her new husband has something to do with the silence. He may be controlling or discourages contact because he is threatened by the idea that she had a full life previously. It may also be that she prefers to devote her time and efforts to him and his relatives rather than dwell in the past.
I wish I had more information about her, but even without it, my advice is for you all to move on. It's impossible to maintain a relationship with someone who doesn't want one.